Does the C6 Corvette offer great value for its performance?

By J.A. Ackley
May 2, 2023 | gridlife, Chevrolet Corvette, NATA, NATA Championship, Global Time Attack

Photography by Chad Will/Global Time Attack

Eric Fleming used a 2006 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 en route to win the Large 200tw Tire class during Round 1 of the NATA Championship. While his is hardly stock, Eric feels the C6 offers the perfect starting point to creating a winning track car.

[First round of the NATA Championship results]

You cannot get a better platform out of the gate for the money spent,” says Eric. “A lot of them weren’t abused. It’s not Honda Civic cheap, but you can pick up a decent example for $15,000 to $40,000. Then, you can take it immediately on track with some fresh brake fluid. A manual transmission car that makes 400 to 500 horsepower is plenty enough for most people. It’s a lot of car for the price.”

Eric starting competing in motorsports with a 1971 Chevrolet Corvette.

They are completely different animals,” Eric says of the C3 compared to the C6. “[The C3] made me a better driver … going on track with no ABS, no power assists of any sort. It jumped me ahead a lot faster than if I had first gotten into a modern car.”

Eric bought his C6 as a race car, and then redid just about everything on it. The body panels and the suspension pickup points are among the few components that remain stock.

A naturally-aspirated, 468-cubic-inch engine rebuilt by GSpeed powers the car. It makes 760 horsepower at the wheels. Eric describes the car as using “the best of the best,” but admits it could use a more robust aero package.

So, what is it like for Eric to compete with the C6?

Scary,” says Eric. “It’s terrifying because every time I get in it, it feels like it’s been months since I’ve last driven the car. It’s so incredibly fast that it takes several sessions for my mind to reconfigure and process everything [on track]. At both COTA and Road Atlanta, we’re going 175-plus down the straights.”

Eric’s mind must have caught up with the speed during Round 1 of the NATA Championship. He won the Large 200tw Tire class at the Global Time Attack event held at the Circuit of The Americas in February.

The next round of NATA takes place on June 2-4, which is a Gridlife Midwest event at GingerMan Raceway in South Haven, Michigan.

What exactly is NATA? The North American Time Attack Council Championship presented by Grassroots Motorsports simplifies time trials by presenting a format that lets drivers easily collect points in participating events across Global Time Attack, Gridlife and SCCA Time Trials.

[Introducing the NATA Championship presented by Grassroots Motorsports]

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View comments on the GRM forums
trumant GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
5/2/23 9:00 p.m.

Seems like a missed opportunity here to discuss the investment required to prepare a base car at 15-40k into a reasonably competitive time trial car.

The question of value posed in the headline isn't really answered.

CrashDummy Reader
5/3/23 8:10 a.m.

Where can one find a decent C6 Corvette for $15k? I did an autotrader search and the cheapest C6s near me started at right around $30K. 

J.A. Ackley
J.A. Ackley Senior Editor
5/3/23 9:28 a.m.
J.A. Ackley
J.A. Ackley Senior Editor
5/3/23 9:30 a.m.

In reply to trumant :

Not disagreeing - there's a bunch this racer did to his C6. His point is that you can start with quite a bit of performance for the dollar spent - and it provides a good starting point to developing a car over time.

triumph7 HalfDork
5/3/23 9:42 a.m.

In reply to CrashDummy :

For cheap focus on the 2005-2007 cars with the LS2 engine and do your shopping over the winter months.  I started looking in February and missed a couple good ones.  Now similar cars are going $3K to $10K higher.

ClearWaterMS Reader
5/3/23 11:08 a.m.
CrashDummy said:

Where can one find a decent C6 Corvette for $15k? I did an autotrader search and the cheapest C6s near me started at right around $30K. 

one benefit of the C6 platform is that I paid $29k for mine years ago and think it's still worth within 2 or 3k of that now (08 LS3 stick shift car with only 50k miles)

5/3/23 11:41 a.m.

If the goal is to just drive it stock, then the buy-in price is irrelevant. If it holds to low or zero depreciation, then it is a great performance  car buy. Chances are you will get bored with it in a few years and you can sell it to recoup most if not all of your money. Just buy a good one and don't wreck it.

ShinnyGroove (Forum Supporter)
ShinnyGroove (Forum Supporter) Dork
5/3/23 11:48 a.m.

Shout out to my friend Josh who has a YouTube channel called the Racing Mind where he's converting a C6 Z06 into a track day/time trial car that can compete with GT3 911's.  The content is very well done.  He's pretty thorough about describing all the landmines that he's walked over along the way; it's a refreshing approach for those of us who have taken on project cars like this.

Last time I talked to Josh at AMP, I also ran into @maschinenbau and talked cars.  It was a fun afternoon.

93gsxturbo UltraDork
5/3/23 1:17 p.m.

Don't care, too ugly.  C6's with the glassed in headlights and copper paint are a specific kind of dated looking awful.  C5s still look the business and C7s are gorgeous.  

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